To my 'kleine mannetje'
This is you at a month old
My famous (or was it infamous?) 11lbs baby, born at home.
Today you look like this
In fact, this is already a few months ago, back in Holland when you learnt to ride a bike without hands.
From that 11lbs whopper of a baby you are now a lean and mostly very tall 11 year old. Everybody is telling me how big 11 is, how much you're growing up. To me you're still my baby, and I'm not sure that will ever change!
You and I are very different people, but the more you grow up, the more I love discovering little ways in which we are similar or share interests.
The way the two of us are both very obviously morning people, and although you're not often here in the morning when it's not a school day, when we do have a day at home together, I like nothing better than to get up early with you and just watch the day wake up together. Those first few quiet hours together are so precious to me.
The way you do not like eating anything in an animal shape - the house is filling up with chocolate bunnies and gingerbread families. It also explains your love for cuddly animals - something I remember so well from childhood and even now, I have a soft spot for them.
The way you're beginning to discover a love of languages, despite your reluctance to read books.
The way you can chat and chat and chat...
In some ways it is obvious you are growing up and becoming more and more your own person. You told me a while back you'd prefer it if I didn't buy you clothes any longer without you being there. You're definitely developing a taste of your own, and it's not always something I would have chosen for you myself. You're becoming more and more caring, often putting the needs of others before your own, sometimes so much so that your generosity almost makes me cry.
What I like best though is your company. Of course above all I'm your parent but I feel you're my 'maatje' too. And I hope we get to keep that for a very long time...
Happy birthday kleine man!